More on Lung Disease

Monday, April 15th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Not all lung disease is caused by cigarette smoking, but way too much is. And smoking can be very hard to give up. Still, there are benefits to quitting the habit at any stage of life — even after receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer or even after cancer surgery. A recent study conducted by the Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, found that quitting prior to surgery is best.

Described by HealthDay, an affiliate of the National Institutes of Health, this study involved lung cancer patients as well as head and neck cancer patients who quit smoking either before or immediately following their surgery. The patients were followed-up for a year after surgery.

For patients who had quit smoking before surgery, the relapse rate was only 13 percent. By contrast, 60 percent of those who continued smoking during the week before surgery resumed smoking afterward. Most patients who took up smoking again did so shortly after their surgery. The researchers found that patients were more likely to relapse if they were at higher risk for depression, if they had a high amount of fear regarding cancer recurrence, and if they were less likely to trust in their ability to stop smoking.

Researchers noted that their findings underscore the importance of urging patients to quit smoking upon diagnosis and the value of offering stop-smoking programs to patients both pre- and post-surgery.

The study’s corresponding author Vani Nath Simmons stated: “Cancer patients need to know that it’s never to late to quit. Of course, it would be best if they quit smoking before getting cancer, but barring that, they should quit as soon as they get diagnosed. And with a little assistance, there is no reason that they can’t succeed.”


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